Rough Collie Breed Traits & Facts

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

. If you are looking for inspiration to make your family dog a great one, the Rough Collie might be the right breed for you. A member of the herding group, the Rough Collie, currently ranks at number 38 in the American Kennel Club’s chart.

The Rough Collie is the breed that first found international fame in the famous 1950s movie, “Lassie Come Home.” The Rough Collie has a long, luxuriant coat and majestic bearing. There is also a Smooth Collie which has a shorter and flatter coat.

In this article, we will be focusing on the Rough Collie. We examine the Rough Collie’s health and personality to determine if one of these wonderful dogs would be a great family pet.

Rough Collie


The Scottish Highlands is where the Rough Collie was born. He was originally used to herd sheep and cattle.

In the 1860s, Queen Victoria discovered the Rough Collie during a vacation to Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The breed boom . was caused by the royal seal of approval . By 1877, Collies were being shown at the Westminster Kennel Club show, where they were taken up by wealthy dog lovers, including J.P. Morgan.

In 1886, the American Kennel Club came into being, and the Collie Club of America became the second parent association to join the AKC.

From 1954 to 1973, the Rough Collie saw a massive worldwide increase in popularity, thanks to the T.V. show, Lassie, which aired at that time.

Modern Rough Collies are not used in traditional herding tasks. However, they can be found working as assistance dogs, aiding people with disabilities. However, these active dogs enjoy a new career as family pets and sporting dogs in disciplines, including agility and obedience.


Rough Collies love children ,, and often bond closely with their human family. Collies are affectionate and think everyone is their friend. They will hug and cuddle with anyone who is willing to!

On the downside, the Rough Collie is a herding breed, and they can nip at heels, which could frighten small children and won’t go down well with the family cat, either!

Also, a Rough Collie can be herded if it moves fair . This includes your children, other dogs, chickens, and so on. However, this can be corrected with the right training.

These fluffy dogs are smart, loving, and loyal. They are not shy around strangers and are almost never aggressive. They are vocal and will let you know if they see someone in their territory. They make great watchdogs for the family home.

Size & Appearance

Collies are medium-sized dogs, standing from 22 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weighing in at around 50 to 70 pounds. They look much heavier because of their thin frames and thick coats.

The Rough Collie is easily identifiable by its angular head, long, dense coat, and elongated muzzle. They have a wispy appearance that comes from these long and pointy features, as well as their long fur that flows behind them when they run.

Their long muzzles lack an end, so they have a “dished” or flat face. Their ears are straight, but their tips collapse to the top.

Coat & Colors

Rough Collies come in several color combinations which include White, Sable & White, Tri-Color, and Blue Merle. A white collie is a white collie with a sable head and a white body.

Rough Collies have double-coated coats. These dogs shed all year and blow their coats twice each spring and autumn. massive shedding can be found all over your home! This breed is not recommended for homes with allergies due to the high amount of shedding it does.

Exercises & Living Conditions

A Rough Collie should take two hour walks each day . This should include running and aerobic exercise. Playtime should include fetch and other games that allow your Rough Collie to express his natural instinct to herd.

Note: A bored Collie can become prone to destructive behavior and barking if they don’t get enough exercise.

A Rough Collie is a dog with a double coat that can be used outside. However, they are so family-oriented that an individual collie would suffer from separation anxiety . This would result in destructive behavior and incessant barking. Rough Collie owners should keep them indoors.


Rough Collies can be very clever, and they are quick to learn n.

Keep your training methods consistent and reward-based. The attention that Collies receive when they perform simple tricks, or compete in agility or herding contests is a great thing for them.


The average lifespan for a Rough Collie is between 10 and 14 years. Unfortunately, the Rough Collie can be susceptible to many health issues, including drug sensitivities and progressive retinal atrophy. Collie eye anomaly, epilepsy and bloat are just a few of the problems.

Drug Sensitivities

Multiple drug sensitivity issues can affect collies. Some of these issues are the result of a mutation in the multi-drug resistance gene, MDR1. Dogs with this mutation could have fatal reactions to a variety of common drugs including loperamide and ivermectin.

Always have your puppy checked by your vet for these conditions. For your peace of mind, a simple cheek swab will suffice. Check out this article for more useful information.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA refers to a condition in which the dog’s photoreceptor cells are gradually lost. The disease causes the dog’s eyesight to deteriorate over time, ultimately resulting in blindness gradually.

Collie Eye Anomaly

*Collie eye anomaly

is a term that describes a variety of eye conditions, from mild to severe. These conditions can be found in puppies as young as 5-8 weeks . Always verify that the breeder has screened the puppy for eye problems before you purchase a Rough Collie puppy.


Bloat (or gastric torsion) is a condition in which the stomach fills up with air. This can cause the stomach to twist and cut off blood flow. Bloat can occur suddenly and is invariably fatal if not treated quickly. Bloat symptoms include dry heaving, dry heaving and drooling. It is highly probable that your dog will experience another episode of bloat after he has had one.


Rough Collies do best on high-quality dog food that’s meat-based, preferably with no grain content. Experts on collie breeding and the breed are unanimous in their belief that collies shouldn’t be fed soy or corn.

Due to the Rough Collie’s risk of bloat and two or more smaller feeds per day is recommended. The risk of bloat can also be reduced by adding small amounts of meat to the food.


Rough Collies need grooming two to three times a week to keep the coat in good condition and prevent it from matting. The undercoat should be brushed more often in the dog’s twice-yearly grooming.

Remember that female Rough Collies who have been spayed will have one large shed each year. Female Rough Collies that have not been spayed will shed approximately three months after their heat cycle. This time will require more grooming Male Rough Collies shed the most around their birthdays and require more grooming.

Rough Collie teeth should be taken into consideration. To keep their teeth healthy, they are susceptible to periodontal disease ,. It is important to brush them at least once a week in order to remove tartar and bacteria-causing bacteria. To prevent injury, you should trim the nails of your Rough Collie at least once a month . Dogs with long nails can lead to arthritis and other conditions in their canine companions.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

The Collie Club of America . website is a good place to start your search for a Rough Collie dog.

Search for collie breeders who subscribe to Club’s code , which prohibits the sale puppies through pet shops. The AKC website also has a directory of collie breeders.

The current price of a well-bred rough Collie puppy is around $1,200 to about $1,500.

Be wary of puppies being offered at a low price. The puppy may have come from an puppymill ..

*Puppy mills

are businesses that produce large numbers of puppies cheaply and quickly. Rough Collies can be affected by eye conditions, so breeding animals and puppies aren’t screened to keep costs low. Moreover, puppies are not usually vaccinated ,and many of them succumb to completely preventable diseases shortly after they arrive at their new homes.

You should know that many backstreet pet shops obtain their puppies cheaply through puppy mills.

Rescues & Shelters

If you like the idea of offering a forever home to an unwanted Rough Collie from a shelter or rescue center, you might want to check out the Collie Club of America’s rescue network.

If you are unsure if a Rough Collie will settle in your home, many shelters will allow you take a dog with you on a trial .basis HTML1. You can give the dog back to the shelter if the arrangement does not work out.

As Family Pets

So, is a Rough Collie the right canine companion for your family members?

Let’s review the main points:

  • Rough Collies are medium-sized dogs that do need somewhere with lots of space.
  • Because of their propensity for excessive barking, an apartment or place where you have very close neighbors would not be the best arrangement.
  • Rough Collies shed continually and have two major coat-blowing periods every year. This breed is not recommended for allergy sufferers.
  • Because they are double-coated and molt continually, you’ll need to have plenty of time for brushing your rough Collie, ideally two or three times each week.
  • Rough Collies are highly affectionate dogs who love to be around children and their human family members.
  • When socialized from a young age, Rough Collies will interact well with other family pets.
  • As the Rough Collie is a herding dog, these pups will enjoy herding anything in the family that moves, including you, your kids, and the family cat!
  • If a medium-sized dog is too big for you, especially with this much fur, you can look at a border collie or border collie mix like the borador. Another great breed to compare the border collie with is the Australian shepherd, which is a herding dog and is smaller than a Rough Collie.
  • You’ll need to be prepared to spend lots of time exercising your Rough Collie, as these dogs were bred to work all day and are not couch potatoes.
  • You can’t keep a Rough Collie outside in a kennel. Rough Collie dogs are too attached to their families for this! Rough Collie alone will bark incessantly, and can become destructive.

The Rough Collie is a great match for active families with children and pets. To manage all the shedding your Rough Collie will cause, you’ll need to be a passionate groomer!

Final Thoughts

A Rough Collie is a great choice for someone who loves children and is affectionate. The breed can bark at neighbors and cause problems if left alone. *Rough Collies require a lot of exercise so it’s important to take the time to walk them. Rough Collies shed a lot, so you will need to spend a lot of time grooming your dog.

If you are looking for a loyal, intelligent, and trainable family pet, the Rough Collie is your best bet!

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